Football and Traumatic Brain Injuries in Kids

It’s common for children playing football to suffer injuries on the field, many of which can be shrugged off. However, when it comes to head injuries, no incident should be ignored. What may seem minor could develop into a far more serious or potentially life-threatening condition without prompt and proper treatment.

In April of 2013, Tennessee passed a concussion law designed to reduce brain injuries in youth sports. This legislation includes provisions for:

  • Educating coaches, parents and athletes on the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
  • Removing athletes from play when it appears they may have suffered a concussion.
  • Not allowing athletes to return to play until being cleared by a doctor.

While this law covers all youth sports, it is more common for young football players to suffer from a brain or spinal injury than other youth athletes.

The dangers of traumatic brain injury

Kids playing football may sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) if they are hit head-on when tackled or knocked down with force. While helmets are vital for protecting a player’s head, they are not always enough. Some helmets fly off after a hard impact, and even if they stay on, they aren’t foolproof. 

Signs that your child has sustained a TBI include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

These symptoms, or any other indication of a problem, may not show up right away. If your child isn’t checked out, the TBI could go unnoticed until far more severe symptoms suddenly become present, such as:

  • Bleeding on the brain
  • Loss of thinking ability
  • Difficulty controlling limbs
  • Coma

By educating parents and coaches on brain injuries, they will be more aware of the symptoms, meaning that children will be treated sooner.

Make sure those responsible for your child’s safety are aware of TBIs

Coaches, referees and other adults responsible for overseeing football games need to be aware of the dangers of TBIs. They should know that even though a child may seem fine after taking a blow to the head, they should still be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible, and certainly before returning to game play.

If your child has suffered from a brain or spinal injury in Tennessee, talk to an experienced Bristol personal injury attorney at Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, P.C. Contact us today to learn about your options.